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  • Ablation of a bipolar plate: Ultra-short pulse lasers have long since made the leap to industrial production and established themselves as a high-precision, digital all-round tool.
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    On April 26 and 27, 2023, users from the fields of laser technology, optics and laser development, as well as mechanical and plant engineering will meet in Aachen for the "7th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology." In addition to presenting the latest developments in ultrafast laser technology, the workshop will cover several core topics: contributions to future markets and applications from microelectronics, battery and hydrogen technology. In order to serve these topics accordingly, the UKP workshop will open its doors – for the first time – to international speakers with relevant industry knowledge to report on their experience.

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  • Aurora Powertrains originates from Lapland and is the world's first provider of guided tours with electric snowmobiles. The eSled has a range of up to 100 kilometers.
    © Aurora Powertrains.

    After three long years of meeting online, the industry finally convened live at the 5th Laser Symposium Electromobility LSE at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen. Around 50 interested parties accepted the invitation to hear speakers from research and industry report on progress, trends and ideas to further advance electromobilization. Highlights included a presentation by a Finnish snowmobile manufacturer, a 32-beam 100 kilowatt laser from Israel and insight from an Austrian AI expert.

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  • New lasers for climate research

    Photo report  / February 28, 2023

    The alexandrite lasers have been optimized in the laboratory to such an extent that they can operate in the LIDAR systems for thousands of hours without maintenance or adjustment.
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany / Ralf Baumgarten.

    Weather reports, climate models or rocket launches – they all need precise data from the atmosphere. To acquire such data, scientists can use LIDAR (LIght Detection And Ranging) systems to shoot laser beams into the sky. The backscattered light can be used to calculate wind and temperature data at altitudes of up to 100 km. A team from the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT and the Leibniz Institute for Atmospheric Physics IAP has developed a portable LIDAR system that works autonomously. In the future, such systems could be mass-produced and combined into networks to provide high quality climate data.

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  • IDEEL Project: Manufacture of laser-dried anodes and LFP cathodes achieved first time in a roll-to-roll process

    Press Release of the Laserline GmbH from January 18, 2023 / February 09, 2023

    Laser drying in a roll-to-roll process makes the series production of lithium-ion batteries significantly more sustainable and economical. For this purpose, a high-power diode laser with zoom optics was integrated into a film coating system in the IDEEL research project.
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    The IDEEL research project aims to introduce a laser drying process as a more climate-friendly and economical method for the volume production of lithium-ion batteries. Within this context, it has now been possible to produce laser-dried anodes and LFP cathodes in a roll-to-roll process for the first time. The innovative manufacturing process significantly reduces energy consumption in electrode production and at the same time enables the drying speed to be doubled.

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  • Laser systems drive the productive future

    Press Release from the Pulsar Photonics GmbH from February 1, 2023 / February 03, 2023

    Since 2021, laser processes for battery production have been researched at Fraunhofer ILT in a dedicated battery center. Here in the picture, the facility with the multi-beam optics for laser processing. In the next step, Pulsar Photonics wants to bring the optics developed for the NextGenBat project to series maturity - ideally with industrial partners.
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    The EU infrastructure project NextGenBat has ambitious goals: to significantly increase the performance of mobile energy storage devices such as batteries by employing new materials and laser-based manufacturing processes. To reach these goals, the partners are using an approach that will run laser machining processes in parallel. With special optics, up to several hundred partial beams can be generated, which can then be used to significantly increase productivity through parallel processing. However, only a handful of specialist companies such as Pulsar Photonics have mastered this technology.

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  • Setting off into the third dimension

    Press Release / February 02, 2023

    Fast and precise: Using the example of a molded part additively manufactured with EHLA 3D, the institute demonstrated that it could significantly reduce printing time compared to LMD and LPBF.
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    Can sophisticated metal components be 3D printed productively and reproducibly in series? Researchers from Aachen can answer this question in the affirmative: At the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT, they have transferred two-dimensional Extreme High-speed Laser Material Deposition EHLA to a modified five-axis CNC system for the additive manufacturing of complex components. By extending the EHLA process to the third dimension, the institute can 3D print difficult-to-weld materials such as tool steels, titanium, aluminum and nickel-based alloys.

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  • Lens made of ground fused silica (left) and laser polished (right). A laser-polished tool steel component can be seen through the laser-polished lens.
    © Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

    The Aachen Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT has delivered impressive results at its “5th Conference on Laser Polishing LaP.” Once again, more than 70 experts from all over the world met in October 2022 to discuss the state of the art in laser-based alternatives for polishing components made of glass, metal and plastic, among other materials. The virtual English language conference focused on laser deburring and laser polishing as well as on related topics such as metrology and process control.

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  • Major boost to European plasma accelerator facility

    Press Release of the INFN - Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati from November 23, 2022 / December 19, 2022

    Projected building for the particle-driven plasma accelerator of EuPRAXIA in Frascati, near Rome.
    © INFN & Mythos - consorzio stabile s.c.a.r.l., Italy.

    EuPRAXIA is the first European project that develops a dedicated particle accelerator research infrastructure based on novel plasma acceleration concepts and laser technology.

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  • Laser-structured anode material of a Li-ion battery.

    Every two years, the “UKP Workshop” gives its visitors a sneak peek into the current state of this innovative laser technology. It will be that time again: On April 26 and 27, 2023, the ultrafast laser community will meet in Aachen. In addition to presenting the state of the art in kW beam sources, the workshop will focus on process development and future markets for laser material processing. For two days, experts from research and industry will exchange ideas – finally in live personal contact again.

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  • Fusion energy.
    © shutterstock.

    Lasers have ignited a mini star on earth, laying the foundation for a clean energy source of the future: A historical breakthrough in inertial confinement fusion research at the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Lab and a defining moment for Photonics! One of the most promising applications of laser technology, the realization of laser-driven fusion, has achieved a historical breakthrough. As announced by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL, California, USA) in its press release dated December 13, 2022, American scientists at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) were able to release a fusion energy of 3.15 megajoules (MJ) from a pellet filled with the hydrogen isotopes deuterium and tritium. This is equivalent to 154 percent of the expended energy equivalent to 2.05 MJ of the laser pulse that triggered the explosion. This net energy gain represents the first internationally long-awaited breakthrough in fusion research. These results will provide unprecedented capability to support US Department of Energy’s High Energy Density Physics mission and established the physics platform to generate an efficient energy source comparable to the sun, making it a viable long-term complement to renewable energy.

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